Expert can't testify about Burgarello's mental disability

By The Associated Press | Posted - May 15, 2015 at 2:21 p.m.



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RENO, Nev. (AP) — The judge in a murder trial for an elderly Sparks man who killed an unarmed trespasser has granted the prosecution's request to block testimony from an expert who says Wayne Burgarello is suffering from a stroke-induced mental disability.

The 74-year-old retired school teacher claims he was acting in self-defense last year when he fatally shot Cody Devine and seriously wounded Janai Wilson in an abandoned duplex he owns.

His lawyer wanted the trial that begins Monday to include testimony from Dr. Robert Bilder, chief of medical psychology and neuropsychology at UCLA.

Bilder says some forms of Burgarello's cognitive thinking rank below the IQ level used to establish mental retardation.

Washoe District Judge Patrick Flanagan ruled Friday jurors should be able to understand the effects of age and mental disease without help from an expert.

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The Associated Press

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